If there is anything I have learnt over the past few weeks, it’s that you cannot
move forward into a new year if you cannot appreciate the goodness and the
challenges of the previous year.
As the end of 2012 draws closer, I reflect on the events of the year and I stand hearty saying it’s been a hell of a ride. There was laughter, tears, good times, bad times and above all, lessons learnt. There were times the tide of life would hit so hard that I thought I couldn’t handle it, but I am glad I went through what I went through because it opened my eyes to my naive mentality of life. There are no regrets, since some mistakes cannot be retracted the best a person can do is to look at life from a different perspective and focus on becoming better.
I could write down 101 lessons that the joys and challenges of 2012 have taught me, but I will only note down 12, and hopefully they will also change someone’s life.
1.) Life is a cycle, when something happens in our lives and we do not resolve it, the same test will keep reoccurring until we learn to handle it the best way and retract from the same mistakes.
2.) Regardless of the mistakes you make you have to forgive yourself, work on change and stop being so hard on yourself.
3.) True happiness stems from the inside of us. You have to love yourself wholly so you can be able to love others.
4.) People will always talk, whether you do good or bad. Its what people do. But its not about what they say, but about how you respond. Do not hold on to anger and do not take things personally, just focus on what’s best for you and make yourself a better person.
5.) You should never have to hold on to someone obsessively, regardless of how good they are because if you’re a great person yourself, they will be too busy trying to hold on to you, and the job will be effortless if its mutual.
6.) It’s good to take care of someone, and even better when someone takes care of you, but its always best when you both take care of each other.
7.) No one can ever walk in your shoes, literally speaking, whatever path you choose in life, people may walk in the same direction with you, but they can never walk for you.
8.) They say that you can do nice things for people and they merely turn a blind eye but as soon as you do a mistake they never forget…But a lesson here is that when a friend makes a mistake, never forget all the good things they ever did to you.
9.) Always make time for the people you love. Your presence is valued more.
10.) If God is all you have, then you have everything. Seek Him first, and everything else will fall in its perfect place.
11.) Before you leave a relationship, remember it’s not only about the things that the other person did, you may also have contributed to it and those issues will still follow. Always find the root to every problem. You cannot escape the work you need to do on YOU!
Finally, and this is my best one….
12.) When you think you are doing the right thing, yet your intuition/inner man tells you that it’s the wrong time, believe without a doubt that you are doing the wrong thing. The Bible says that God has made everything beautiful in its own time. (Ecc 3.11)
So as 2013 unfolds, I ask you to reflect and challenge yourself on the lessons you have had, the deep understanding you had about the world surrounding you and the changes that you have gone through.
What have you done and why have you done it?
What friendships or relationships have you formed? Are they contract-based or unconditional?
Did you die to your selfish needs or was it just “I want” all the time and never thinking about other people?
Whatever route you took, you have no one to blame but yourself for the choices that you made.
Do not enter into 2013 so casually.
Don’t just say “New year, New me”…Evaluate!!!
Do an assessment of where you have been in the past and learn to make changes.
Speaking from experience, I have come to understand that through the wrong choices made in the past, sometimes we cannot just wipe the slate clean within a day or two, or with just a change of mindset. But actions and effort play a big part. You’ve got to walk the talk!
Character, self esteem and integrity will then soon pick up.
I heard this reflective quote from my pastor once in a service, that when you are born, you come into this world with 2 pillows…1 for pain and the other for pleasure. Which one have you used so far in your lifetime? Exhaust the pillow of pain in your early days and use the pillow of pleasure in your later days. It’s all about sacrifice. Pay the full price by sleeping on the pillow of pain, then one day you can sit back and relax and rest on the pillow of pleasure. Your willingness to sacrifice is the prove of the value that you place on the object/person/situation.
In a nutshell, nothing comes easy.
Think about the quote, “The bigger the future, the bigger the Enemy”.
We all face temptation in life, but your zeal to overcome that temptation and commit to sacrifice, will determine your big reward waiting for you. What you achieve becomes a legacy.